Tuesday, December 31, 2013

S.C.R.A - Selftitled (1971) & The Ship Album (1972)

(Australian 1971-72)
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The band's full title was Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly (S.C.R.A) and they were formed half-way through 1971. They were an eleven piece outfit with two singers - Cheryl Blake and Peter Martin.
This band was massive with 11 band members at it height and they came from the UK, Oz and NZ. The band also incorporated various styles of rock and pop. They could rock with big band tracks similar to Blood, Sweat And Tears and then take it down a notch to small quiet love songs.
Some of the original band members were from Levi Smith's Clefs which provided a valuable training ground for young players.
New Zealander, Mike “Mickey” Leyton became a member after leaving his band Sounds Unlimited (from Auckland). He married singer Lyn Barnett and they moved to Sydney in the late 1960s. In February 1971 Mickey had became a singer in a pub band called Small Chant (which over the course of 1971 was upgraded to become SCRA - Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly).
The Small Chant members were: Barrie Heidenreich - piano, Mickey Leyton - vocals, Wayne Ford - bass, Peter Martin – classical guitar and composer and Leon Isakson on drums. Peter was breaking his neck to play classical works after studies in Spain. Peter had also written a few songs including one called Roly Poly, which they played live but never recorded as Small Chant.
By mid 1971 Peter Martin had finally secured a permanent gig at the Coogee Oceanic Hotel in Sydney, but by that time Leon Isakson had joined the Delltones. Peter’s band went into the Oceanic with the old line-up of the Small Chant plus a few changes. Barrie had other commitments and Peter replaced him with his star pupil on guitar, Jim Kelly. Russell Dunlop came in on drums with Ian Bloxom on percussion and Dave Ellis on bass. Greg Foster (trombone and blues harp), Mick Kenny (trumpet) and Don Wright (sax) made up the front-line. Michael Lawler’s girlfriend, Sheryl Blake, made up the 3rd singer with the band along with Mickey Leyton and Ian Saxon. And so SCRA was formed. It was a huge 11-piece band and it all sounded fabulous. Dig Richards was so impressed that he decided to use SCRA on his next RCA album, Harlequin.

They even did a considerable amount of recording considering that they had only been together for a short period, and by early 1972 they had two singles and one album to their credit. The single "Roly Poly" from December 1971, reached #19 in the charts by April, 72. They also wrote and performed a rock version of Snow White and released a sizzling take of the venerable hit "C.C. Rider". This is off their lesser known SCRA album on Metronome as opposed to their more popular Ship Album which came out in the States on Atlantic.
Meanwhile, at the end of February '72 the band left for England where they released an album entitled The Ship Album and a single from it, 'It's A Game'/'Love Is A Lonely Day'. The band eventually broke up in the later part of 1972 with three of the band members going on to eventually form Crossfire (Jim Kelly, Mick Kenny and Ian Bloxsom). For more information on Peter Martin, see his website [extracts from Tom Mix Oz Music and Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock p272].
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Album Reviews
SCRA was a jazz-rock outfit from Sydney, who were popular on the local club/festival circuit. Their first album combined a big band sound with some progressive leanings and a few pop moments. The album spawned three singles; C.C. Rider, Roly Poly and Sydney Born Man, which along with To Whom It May Concern represented its rockier more upbeat side.
The remaining material was mostly ballads and the rather restrained effort didn't represent the power of their live act. The second was more in a bluesy progressive jazz-rock vein. Shades of Blodwyn Pig. It was mixed at The Hit Factory in New York during a U.S. tour. Their brand of 'big band' jazz-rock went down well in the States. This included the ten-minute, ambitious "Something Like The Feeling". The album inevitably got a U.S. release, though in a single sleeve, not the gatefold version which graced the Australian public. They released one further 45 It's A Game and then split. [extract from Dreams, Fantasies and Nightmares, Borderline Books, 2002]
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My last post for 2013 and in response to a request made by a blog follower for some SCRA material.  
This post consists of MP3 rips (320kps) of their two albums, taken from Vinyl. Included is full album artwork for LP and CD along with some bonus tracks. Thanks must go to Keith from Midoztouch for the rips and to Tom Mix Music for the Sunbury tracks and 45 scans. The GTK track was sourced from YouTube.
Note:  There is some discrepancy as to whether the track "Love Is A Lonely Day" actually appeared on their Ship Album.  The Atlantic Label (Side 2) does not show this track displayed nor does it appear in the rip, yet the back cover lists the track.  "Love Is A Lonely Day" was released nevertheless, as the B-Side to the 1972 single "It's A Game".  It is also unlikely that the track would have been on the Ship Album as the 3 tracks that are provided have a combined length of 20mins (which was the max time for one side of an LP).
If anyone has this mystery B-Side single, I would be very interested in hearing from you.

Stop Press:  Ozzie Music has saved the day with that elusive 1972 single "It's A Game" / "Love Is A Lonely Day". Why not pop over to his blog and grab yourself a copy from his Post 515
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SCRA /  Tracklisting
01) The Beginning
02) Sighin'
03) Roly Poly
04) She Would Not Fade
05) Bush Sunrise
06) CC Rider
07) Traveller
08) To Whom It may Concern
09) Hear The Falling Dew
10) Sydney Born Man
11) It's A Game - Live (Bonus GTK 1972)
12) Roly Poly - Live (Bonus Sunbury 1972)

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The Ship Album / Tracklisting
1) Our Ship
2) Live Today
3) Actress
4) 23 Skadoo
5) Freak
Love Is A Lonely Day??
6) Midnight
7) Changes
8) Something Like the Feeling
9) I Wanna Make Love To You - Live (Bonus Sunbury 1972)

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SCRA Band Members:
Mickey Leyton, Sheryl Black, Ian Saxon - vocals:
Peter Martin, Jim Kelly - guitars;
Dave Ellis - bass;
Russell Dunlop - drums;
Ian Bloxsom - percussion
Mick Kenny - trumpet;
Don Wright - saxophone & flute;
Greg Foster - trombone & harmonica

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SCRA - Selftitled (83Mb)
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SCRA - The Ship Album (101Mb)
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Budgie - Breadfunsy (1975) Bootleg

(U.K 1971 - Present)
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Looking back to the 1970's most major rock bands released at least one live album in order to capture the excitement and spontaneity of a live performance. It therefore seems unusual that Budgie or their record companies of the period did not pursue this avenue to the fullest extent. Budgie were essentially a live act and the studio albums did not truly capture the same excitement as a live concert. The only official live recordings from this period appear to be concerts broadcast by radio (see Budgie's Website)

In 1974, the original drummer Ray Phillips had left the band and a replacement was needed to fulfill tour commitments. Pete Boot was drafted in and due to an album being required by the record company he ended up staying to record the album (In For The Kill). As Burke has said of the period "it was chaotic, we were trying to rehearse the live set, do the shows and write and record new material for the new album".

Pete Boot stayed for only one year and was eventually replaced by Steve Williams, just in time to record their next album, Bandolier. One of the shows from that time was broadcast from the Roadhouse, London in August 1975, one month before the new album 'Bandolier' was released. The album subsequently went on to reach #36 in the UK and was certified gold in 1976.  This show features early versions of "Napoleon Bona Part I&II" and "Who Do You Want For Your Love" from this album. The recording quality of 1975 radio is a long way from recordings that are done with today's technology however due to so much interest in the band in it's early days this show is another 'lost treasure' presented here for your enjoyment.

The 3 bonus BBC tracks were actually taken from a mega rare early 1973 UK 1st Press released by BBC Transcription Services. A 100 copies were pressed for radio stations only!!! Each band played for 28 minutes. They had fantastic audio quality - recorded live for small invited audience in Autumn 1972.
Without a doubt they are the rarest Budgie (and folk-progressive JSD Band) recordings ever!
Budgie segment were released on Heavier Than Air CD but in slightly lesser sound quality and without some announcements.

These 3 tracks were also made available through a 4 CD compilation called 'Don't Dare To Forget' which featured other bands, released by Oh Boy in 1991.
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This post consists of both MP3 (320kps) and FLAC files (ripped from a Japanese Bootleg CD) and includes full album artwork. The three bonus BBC tracks were sourced from the internet many years ago and are only in MP3 format (160kps). If anyone else has these three rare tracks with a better bitrate, I'd love to hear from you. The quality of the Breadfunsy material is excellent and the guitar work by Tony Bourge is awesome - as you would expect.  Note that Shelley introduces Steve Williams at the start of Parents indicating that he had only just joined the band.
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Track Listing:
01. Breadfan (9:41)
02. In For The Kill (8:43)
03. Parents (10:49)
04. Who Do You Want For Your Love? (6:39)
05. In The Glip Of A Tyrefitter's Hand (6:03)
06. Napoleon Bona (Part I&II) (7:15)
07. Rape Of The Locks (BBC - 1973) (6:52)
08. Rocking Man (BBC - 1973) (6:20)

09. Young Is A World (BBC - 1973) (9:13)

1975 Line-up:
Burke Shelley - bass, vocals
Tony Bourge - lead guitar
Steve Williams - drums

1973 Line-up:
Burke Shelley - bass, vocals
Tony Bourge - guitar
Ray Phillips - drums



Breadfunsy MP3 Link (72Mb)

Breadfunsy FLAC Link (311Mb)
   

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - OL' 55: (I Want A) Rockin' Christmas (1976)


Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
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Ol’ 55 is a retro-fifties band from Sydney, Australia, formed in 1975. OL’55 enjoyed enormous popularity with a style that bordered on parody. The band took its name from the Tom Waits song (as covered by The Eagles).

The rock band Ol' 55 had some memorable top 40 hits when they first burst onto the scene in the mid 1970s then they went off the boil when Frankie J. Holden left to go solo. By the time they finished up they were recording sound-a-like medleys of oldies a bit like the Stars On 45 people....

"(I Want A) Rockin' Christmas" came out in 1976 and was still on the play lists in January 1977 when it was yanked because that's when Christmas hits are supposedly removed from radio play lists....it was done so when still at number one in Melbourne. In fact, it was number one for almost 7 weeks before it was dropped.

A version of the song has been released on CD, on a Festival collection called "Spin Into Christmas" but the version on CD is a remixed longer cut. The CD mix is from the Russell Crowe movie "The Sum Of Us" and was remixed by the original producer Charles Fisher. The original single was also 22 seconds shorter and had less bass.
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Here for download is the original single version sung by Frankie J. Holden also starring Rockpile Jones and Wilbur Wilde. It was written by bassist Jim Manzie and Glenn A. Baker (manager). The B-Side "Little Saint Nick" was written by Brian Wilson and is an adaptation of the Beach Boy's "Little Deuce Coupe" [extract from Tom Music Mix with thanks].
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As usual, I'm posting the December 'WOCK on Vinyl' a little earlier this month to coincide with Christmas Day and of course the C in WOCK is for Christmas Cheer.  Post consists of MP3(320kps) and includes full artwork and label scans.
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I would like to wish all of my wonderful blog followers (and visitors) a Very Merry Christmas and trust that you will take care when travelling during the Festive Season. May your Santa stockings be filled with lots of treats and especially with loads of Aussie Music CD's (please support our local artists)
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I Want A Rockin' Christmas Link (64Mb)

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Airlord - Clockwork Revenge

(New Zealand 1976-78)
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Airlord are one of the more original late 70s progressive bands. From the unlikely country of New Zealand, Airlord emerged with a pretty crazy bent on classic era Genesis. The vocals are most reminiscent of Gabriel, whereas the guitars play in a more hard rock style, with an occasional blazing solo. The keys (organ, synthesizer, Mellotron) and compositions aren't as elaborate or as complex as classic Genesis or Marillion, but Clockwork Revenge is a refreshing take on a classic idea. The album featured a nice gatefold cover (see below) with lyrics and graphics in the inner. Hopefully Aztec / Sandman will consider reissuing this one.
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Airlord were one of the many New Zealand bands who headed for Australia to attempt to make their fortune; sadly, like so many others, they failed. Airlord had a fairly symphonic sound, although they never seem to go far enough over the top to really stand out from the crowd.
Airlord 1976
Airlord was formed in Wellington in 1976, played the pubs and flew to Australia the following year, recorded an excellent albeit ignored album, 'Clockwork Revenge', and disbanded in 1978. The group failed to secure a large New Zealand audience, largely because they performed original material. Airlord had to escape to Australia to earn a decent living, and although they were never a top draw card across the Tasman, their lifespan was a lot longer than had they stayed in New Zealand.

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Before Airlord, Steve MacKenzie had teamed up with Reece Kirk to form a duo called Friends. They released two singles, one in 1974 and the other in 1975. Reece had also released a single by himself in 1972.
In 1979, after Airlord had disbanded, Steve MacKenzie and Alan Blackburn formed Machine with Tony Jax on drums and Steve Kulak on bass. They released one single in 1981 called "They Destroy Me" [extracts from sergent.com ]
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This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from Vinyl  and includes full album artwork (thanks to Midoztouch).  The quality of the recording is top notch with little or no surface noise.
The album opens with the sound of a wind up toy and then quickly jumps into a 'high energy piece' that is reminiscent of a Genesis classic such as Gentle Giant, featuring 'clown like' garble and rambling guitar & keyboard licks.  "Pictures in a Puddle" slows down the pace with its graceful vocal harmonies and is quickly followed by the symphonic masterpiece "Ladies of the Night" which is probably the best track on the album.
The remaining tracks on the album have their own highlights and as a whole, this album grows on you with every listen. I can't recommend this album enough if you haven't heard it before, but take note that this is the only album released by Airlord, so be prepared for that 'wanting more' feeling !
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Tracks Listing
 01. Clockwork Revenge (6:39)
02. Pictures In A Puddle (4:03)
03. Ladies Of The Night (9:46)
04. Earthborn Pilgrim (4:58)
05. Out Of The Woods (7:18)
06. Is It Such A Dream (5:11)
07. You Might Even Be (4:27)

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Band Members:
Steve MacKenzie (guitar, vocals)
Ray Simenauer (guitar, vocals)
Brad Murray (bass, vocals)
Alan Blackburn (keyboards)
Rick Mercer (drums)

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Airlord Link (101Mb)
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Various Artists - The GTK Tapes Vol 3 & 4

(Various Australian Artists 1969-75)
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The series title was an abbreviation of the phrase "Get To Know". GTK is one of several significant popular music programs produced by the ABC, and like the later establishment of Double Jay, GTK was created to address the perception that the Australian youth audience was being poorly served by commercial radio and TV and that much important international music and especially Australian popular music was being ignored by commercial TV and radio at that time.

GTK premiered on 4 August 1969 and ran until 1974, after which it was superseded by the even more successful weekly show Countdown. The first series of GTK was directed by noted TV and event director Ric Birch, who was at the time the youngest director in Australian television. Because colour television was not introduced in Australia until early 1975, most of GTK was shot on black-and-white film or videotape, although segments of programs ca. 1974 are known to have been shot in colour.

GTK ran for ten minutes and was broadcast daily from Monday to Thursday, at 6.30 pm just before the ABC's popular rural soap opera Bellbird. GTK's magazine-style format—which gave strong emphasis to local Australian rock and pop music—included interviews, reports, music film-clips (music videos) and occasional footage of local and visiting international acts in concert.   

GTK (1969-74) aimed to introduce 'new teens and twenties … to the world of trendsetting fashions, records, movies and events’. The first program included a profile of Sydney rock band The Cleves and most episodes featured a live performance filmed for GTK at the ABC’s Gore Hill studio in Sydney.

A feature of every episode—and one that makes GTK a unique document of that period of Australian music—was the daily live-in-the-studio performance segment, especially recorded by GTK. These segments featured hundreds of notable and lesser-known Australian acts of the period. The band chosen as featured group for the week would often record their own 'cover' version of the GTK theme (composed by Hans Poulsen), which was played at the start of each of the programs.

Certainly the nightly viewers -always devoted and dismayed in equal parts - were served up the readily familiar likes of Zoot, Axiom, Doug Parkinson In Focus, Autumn, Jeff St John, Sherbet, Country Radio, the La De Das, Blackfeather, Billy Thorpe, Chain, Hush, Max Merritt & The Meteors, Russell Morris, Daddy Cool, Spectrum, and Flake, but they were also exposed to new, challenging contemporary acts such as Company Caine, Captain Matchbox, Pirana, Tamam Shud, Bakery, Sun, Third Union Band, Syrius, Glenn Cardier, Kahvas Jute. Band of Talabene No Sweat, Gungan Dim; Mother Earth, Human Instinct, Langford Lever, Duck, Jeannie Lewis, Friends, Wendy Saddington, Wild Cherries, Band of Light, Gary Young's Hot Dog, Moonstone, Mighty Kong, Home, Buffalo, King Harvest, Headband and Carson.

These live performance segments were filmed in Studio 21 at the ABC's Gore Hill complex, which had originally been used for drama during the early days of live-to-air production. Groups were called in early on Monday mornings, and four songs/pieces were recorded, with one segment broadcast each day. Another aspect that makes this GTK footage important is that many of the bands were asked to play material from their live repertoire—including cover versions—rather than their current or recent hit song/s, since it was felt that the groups would perform these better and because it would show off other facets of their music. It is believed that because these live performances were filmed (and later transferred to videotape for broadcast) most of this footage was preserved, despite the fact that many of the broadcast master tapes were later erased.

It was thought for many years that most of the videotapes of the program had been erased during an ABC economy drive in the late 1970s, but recent discoveries at the ABC, notably during and after the closure of the old Gore Hill studio complex in Sydney, have revealed that much of the series (including location pieces and in-the-studio performances) was shot on film and then transferred to video. Recent estimates from the ABC indicate that as much as 90 percent of the series has survived, although regrettably most of the first year of the show was only videotape, which has since been erased.

Recent discoveries have included Mick Jagger discussing his role in Ned Kelly (1970), an exclusive GTK interviews with Pete Townshend and Marc Bolan and unique colour footage of Lou Reed's 1974 Sydney concert (including one of the earliest known films of Reed performing "Walk on the Wild Side") and his legendary Sydney press conference, which features noted Australian television journalist Ian Leslie.

GTK's final show was broadcast in late 1974 and was superseded by the highly successful ABC pop music show Countdown (1974-87).  [extracts from Wikipedia and Australian Screen website]
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This post consists of MP3's (320kps) most likely ripped from YouTube snippets of GTK episodes (and sourced with thanks from Deutros) along with full CD artwork.  Vols 1 & 2 are also available on my blog. The GTK tapes are a wonderful chronology of the diverse and highly talented Aussie musos that dominated our music charts in the early 70's.
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Vol 3. Track Listing
01 - Who Said What (Carson)
02 - Blow In D (Chain)
03 - The Devil's Disciple (Coloured Balls)
04 - Mango's Theme (Blackfeather)
05 - Winter Song (Country Radio)
06 - If Only (Ted Mulry)
07 - Only You And I Know (Doug Parkinson)
08 - Woman With Reason (Company Caine)
09 - Poem Of Joy (Healing Force)
10 - Lucille (John Farnham)
11 - 64,000 Dollar Question (Daddy Cool)

12 - Launching Place Part II (Spectrum)
13 - Way Out West (The Dingoes)
14 - Gee (Daddy Cool)
15 - Private Eye (Skyhooks)


GTK Tapes Vol 3 Link (83Mb)
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Vol 4. Track Listing
01 - Don't You Know That I Do (Sherbet)
02 - Ginger Bread Man (Brian Cadd)
03 - Munge (Chain)
04 - Boogie (Friends)
05 - Down At The Station (Daddy Cool)
06 - Nile Song (Human Instinct)
07 - Johnny B. Goode (Johnny Farnham)
08 - Message (Renee Geyer & Sun)
09 - Wishing Well (Sherbet)
10 - Sunset Song (Mighty Mouse)
11 - I've Grown Tired Already (Syrius)
12 - Speak To The Sky (Rick Springfield)
13 - Come Back Again (Daddy Cool)
14 - Make Your Stash (Spectrum)

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GTK Tapes Vol 4 Link (121Mb)
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Felix Pappalardi - Creation (1976) + Bonus Live Tracks

(Japan 1976-77)
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Felix Pappalardi was most famous as the producer of Cream and the bassist for one of the first American hard rock acts, Mountain; sadly, he's also remembered for the tragic shooting that claimed his life at age 43. Pappalardi was born December 20, 1939, in the Bronx and studied classical music at the University of Michigan; upon returning to New York, he was unable to find work as a conductor and soon drifted into the Greenwich Village folk scene. He soon made a name for himself as a skilled arranger, and from there moved into record production, initially concentrating on folk and folk-rock acts like Tim Hardin, the Youngbloods, Joan Baez, Richard & Mimi Farina, Ian & Sylvia, and Fred Neil. However, it was Pappalardi's late-'60s work with the psychedelic blues-rock outfit Cream — beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears — that really established his reputation; Pappalardi sometimes contributed additional instrumentation for his imaginative studio arrangements and he and wife, Gail Collins, co-wrote "Strange Brew" with Eric Clapton. In 1968, Pappalardi was asked to produce an Atlantic Records band
called the Vagrants, which featured a young guitarist named Leslie West. The following year, he produced West's solo album Mountain; after Cream disbanded, Pappalardi and West formed the hard rock band Mountain, whose hit single "Mississippi Queen" remains a staple of classic rock radio. Mountain broke up in 1972, reunited in 1974, and disbanded again in 1975; afterwards, Pappalardi was forced to, for the most part, retire from performing due to partial hearing loss caused by Mountain's extreme volume. However, he was able to return to production, and also recorded an album with the Japanese hard rock outfit Creation, who had opened for Mountain on their Japanese tours; Felix Pappalardi & Creation was released on A&M in 1976. In 1979, Pappalardi released his first proper solo album, Don't Worry, Ma, which reflected his growing interest in funk, jazz fusion, and reggae, and featured a large supporting cast, including bassist Chuck Rainey and drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie.On the night of April 17, 1983, tragedy struck: Pappalardi was shot once in the neck by his wife, Gail Collins, and killed. He had been involved in a long-standing affair with a younger woman, of which Collins had knowledge; however, a jury supported Collins' claim that the shooting was accidental, occurring while Pappalardi was showing her how to use the gun. She was convicted of criminally negligent homicide rather than the far more serious charge of second-degree murder; sentenced to four years, Collins quietly disappeared afterward.
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(Blues) Creation was formed by guitarists Kazuo Takeda, Koh Eiryu and singer Fumio Nunoya, in early 1969, after the dissolution of their Group Sounds outfit The Bickies. Takeda played many guitar sessions and slowly began to gain confidence in himself as a lead vocalist, so much so that when he returned to the Japanese music scene, in 1973, to support Mountain, it was as the lead singer/guitarist of a new power trio called simply Creation.
The urbane and gregarious Takeda hit it off with Leslie West and Mountain drummer Corky Laing, but became even bigger mates with bassist Felix Pappalardi and his wife Gail Collins, who had written most of the lyrics for Mountain's hits.
However, Creation did not release their first LP until 1975, by which time Takeda, nervous of his new role as lead singer invited rhythm guitarist Yoshiaki Iijima to join drummer Masayuki Higuchi and bassist Shigeru Matsumoto in the new line up. Takeda contacted Felix Pappalardi and asked him to produce the second Creation LP.
Pappalardi, temporarily deafened by the high volume at which Mountain always played concerts, had already decided to concentrate on studio production, and so he and his wife began to write songs with Takeda at their Nantucket home in Massachussets. In April 1976, the results were released in Japan as "Creation With Felix Pappalardi" and in the US as  "Felix Pappalardi & Creation". Unfortunately, the international acclaim that Kazuo Takeda so longed for was still unforthcoming, although the record was once more a mighty success in Japan [by Julian Cope ]
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Album Review
Recorded in 1976 at Bearsville Studio in NYC, this album was the result of a collaboration between Japanese guitar hero Kazuo Takeda of Creation and American bassist Felix Pappalardi of Mountain. Pappalardi and Takeda first began hanging out in London in the early seventies, a friendship which soon led to Mountain touring Japan alongside Creation in 1975. This in turn led to Creation being invited to the US by Pappalardi to record their next album, 1976’s Creation with Felix Pappalardi. This album is a collection of tunes written by Pappalardi, Pappalardi’s wife, Gail Collins, and Takeda, and finds Pappalardi playing bass, keyboards and vibraphone on the LP as well as handling production duties. The songs are a blend of melodic hard rock akin and would not seem out of place on a Mountain album.
The songs range from fairly psychedelic power ballads reminiscent of early Mountain to a more robust brand of Heavy Metal exercises in a showcase of almost-tremendous talent, if not the same force, rather than art, Pappalardi's group Mountain really gave their material...
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Interview with 'Flash' Kaz Takeda (Blues Creation Guitarist)
[taken from Felix Pappalardi's Tribute Website]

Dog: Flash, tell us what you've been up to these days. Where are you located and what projects have you been involved in?

Flash: I live in Los Angeles, and playing in my own band [Jazz & Blues). Also playing as session guitarist for local blues,R&B, and Gospel artists. My group has just returned from a three week Asian tour. I also occasionally work as producer, mainly for Asian Blues, Jazz, and R&B artist.

I understand that "Thunder" Higuchi is still quite active as well. Are you guys doing anything together?
 

Flash: It was lucky enough for me to play with him for that Asian tour. From now on I want to play with him as often as possible.

Creation was quite popular in your part of the world prior to Felix joining the band. How did it come about that you wound up playing with him?


Flash: In '73 Creation toured with Mountain as the opening act, and on this tour Felix and I became close and he liked our music too. In '75 Felix came to Japan for a Summer Rock festival. That was the first time we played together with his Special Band named "The World Rock Festival Band." Around that time, Creation was about to make our 2nd album for EMI , and we asked him to produce our next record. He gave us the green light. The band flew to the States, and while we were rehearsing at Felix's Nantucket home, things has changed to another dimension... which was the new project "Felix Pappalardi & Creation." After two month of rehearsal we went to the Bearsville studio to cut the album.

How did you guys and Felix manage to pull it off, given the distance between you?
 

Flash: At the time our agency and record company were fully supportive of our over- seas activities. Also Felix liked Japan so much! So either we go to the States or Felix comes to Japan. That worked well.

Did the distance limit or have any effect on your ability to do concerts?

Flash: Physically it didn't. However, mentally there was a few. Especially when I played his hit tunes in the States. I tried to play appropriate licks in order to fit its original record, e.g., Nantucket Sleighride and Imaginary Western were typical.

Felix was known for being, shall we say, "in charge" in the studio. What was it like recording with him?
 

Flash: It was like everything was already done in rehearsal room. Meaning Felix gave us every essential advice and direction from the day one to the end. But what still impressed me was his studio skills. It was like magic!

How much input did you and the rest of the band have in the process of recording the Creation album with Felix? Who wrote the songs and who decided what made it on, what got left off and so forth?

Flash: I prepared and wrote about 10~15 songs for this record, and after we arrived at his home we (Felix, Gail & Me) selected materials again, had discussions almost every day and worked together to decide songs. Also around that time('75~76 ) the music scene was changing from '60's flavored Hard Rock to more Rhythm oriented music. Simply said, funk and new types of Jazz were on the market. Also, Felix was so curious about Reggae music. Incidentally, even though I like our album, I like his "Don't Worry, Ma" album a lot.. we can see his reggae influence, or at least his more rhythm oriented side on that record. He recorded Albert King's "As The Years Go Passing By" on that album. That was the song he picked up from my traveling cassettes collection. And we played that song many times together live. Also I remember he said Chuck Rainy was his favorite bassist. Except Jack Bruce. I guess to him Jack was more like his brother.

Were you happy with the final outcome of the album?

Flash: Oh, Yes!

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This post consists of an MP3 rip (320kps) taken from my vinyl copy and includes full album artwork, including the covers for the French pressing (see below). As a bonus, I have also included some live tracks from a concert they recorded at the Budokan indoor Arena, in 1976. These live tracks not only cover repertoires by Blues Creation and also Pappalardi's earlier band Mountain. In particular, their rendition of Nantucket Sleighride is quite impressive and demonstrates just how good these guys were. If you're are a big fan of Mountain, then you'll definitely enjoy this album.
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Track Listing
01 She's Got Me
02 Dreams I Dream Of You
03 Green Rocky Road
04 Preachers' Daughters
05 Listen To The Music
06 Secret Power
07 Summer Days
08 Dark Eyed Lady Of The Night
09 Ballad Of A Sad Cafe
10 - Watch 'n' Chain (Bonus Live)
11- Dreams I Dream Of You (Bonus Live)
12 - Preacher's Daughter (Bonus Live)
13 - Lonely Night ~ You Better Find Out (Bonus Live)
14 - Secret Power (Bonus Live)
15 - Nantucket Sleighride (Bonus Live)
 
* Live tracks recorded at the Budokan, 1976
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Felix Pappalardi & Creation:
Felix Pappalardi - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Producer
Shigeru "Sugar" Matsumoto - Bass
Kazuo "Flash" Takeda - Lead Guitar
Yoshiaki "Daybreak" Iljima - Guitar (Rhythm)
Masayuki "Thunder" Higuchi - Drums
Guest Artists:
Ralph Moss - Percussion
Paul Butterfield - Harmonica
Gail Collins - Producer

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Felix Pappalardi & Creation Link (188Mb)
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Contraband - Selftitled (1979)

(Australian 1973-1979)
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Initially formed in Sydney and originally called Stillwater, the band changed its name to Finch in 1973 and then, in mid-1978, they changed their name to to Contraband. Owen Orford was the only remaining member of the original 1973 line-up.
The band didn't work fulltime until 1976 when, as Finch, they recorded their first album, 'Thunderbird'. They produced and financed the recording themselves and its release, on the Eagle label, coincided with an upsurge in their popularity.
Originally Sydney-based, they toured Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and country areas of New South Wales. At the end of 1976, they moved to Melbourne and released a single, 'Short Changed Again'. The disc enjoyed moderate success, but its release was followed by a major upheavel. BOB SPENCER (guitar) left to join Skyhooks; then the group split completely leaving only PETER McFARLANE (drums) and Owen. The two of them spent the next three months (April '77 to July '77) auditioning new members. Eventually they came up with David Hinds, who replaced CHRIS JONES as second guitarist, Mark Evans (ex-AC/DC), and an old school friend of Mark's, Graham Kennedy.


Meanwhile the band was signed by CBS. In February 1978, their 'Nothing to Hide' album was released. A single, 'Where Were You', was lifted from it and, in March, became their first national hit.
The band's big break coincided with the album's release — they were picked up for worldwide distribution by American label Portrait. However, as there was already a Dutch band called Finch, Portrait recommended a change of name (to Contraband). Until October '78 the group used both the old and new names to help fans adjust.

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In March, Contraband set off on a national ten week tour with Dragon and, nearing the tour's end, released a re-mixed, edited version of 'Nothing To Hide' as a single. The band then headlined its own tour and, in July, supported Status Quo on its Australian jaunt. The same month, Contraband's album was released in the US. Apart from receiving favourable reviews, the LP got airplay on some of the major FM stations.
In October '78, Peter McFarlane left the band, basically over differing musical taste. He was replaced by Barry Cram (ex-Front Page and Russell Morris Band). Coinciding with the split they released another single, 'That's Your Way' (also a re-mix).
Contraband was scheduled to leave for the US in January '79 to record an album. However Portrait, which was financing the project, pulled out at the last minute without explanation. Undaunted, the band decided to go ahead on its own, record the album at Albert Studios in Sydney and aim at getting to the US later in the year. This selftitled album is the final LP that they recorded before splitting total later in 1979.  [extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock 1978-79 Yearbook, p14-16].
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Finch (Contraband) On Countdown 1979
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my cassette tape (plays just fine) and includes full album artwork (which was sourced from Midoztouch with thanks). Also included is the non-album B-Side single from Rainin' Again (also sourced from Midoztouch at some stage).
Not a bad collection of tracks - probably their best songs musically, but I still prefered their heavier rock material from their early Finch days.
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Track Listing
01. Lead Me to the Slaughter
02. C-61
03. Rainin' Again
04. Twisted
05. Shot Down in Flames
06. Gimme Some Lovin'
07. Only a Fool
08. Jodie on the Break
09. Sittin' Pretty
10. I Want La-Huv
11. Too Drunk To Know (B-Side Single)

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Band Members:
Barry Cram (drums)
Owen Orford (vocals)
David Hinds (guitar)
Graham Kenedy (guitar)
Mark Evans (bass)
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Contraband Link (103Mb)
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